2014 Helen Sheehan Book Prize Winner:
The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley


We Have A Winner!

Please join us in congratulating the winner of the Sheehan YA Book Prize, our inaugural young adult fiction contest. Our panel of judges unanimously selected The Carnival at Bray by debut author Jessie Ann Foley of Chicago, IL. The book will be published by ERB YA in October 2014.

This unique coming-of-age story set in Ireland and Chicago during the nineteen-nineties caught our attention early in the submission process; it fills our search for a “fresh voice” on all counts.

We will begin accepting submissions for the 2016 Sheehan YA Book Prize in April 2015.

Our trio of judges has this to say about the novel:

“By turns funny and sad, The Carnival at Bray is a story about music, first love, and a young girl’s coming-of-age, set in the early nineteen nineties. Foley’s young adult debut offers readers a wonderful, unique picture of adolescence from a fresh new voice.”

– Emil Ostrovksi, author of The Paradox of Vertical Flight

“The story, writing and talent of Jessie Ann Foley are strong.”

– Louise Brueggemann, Children's Services Supervisor at Naperville Public Library, Naperville, Illinois

“I really fell in love with The Carnival at Bray!

– Becky Quiroga Curtis, former Kids/YA buyer at Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

YA Judges

Becky Quiroga Curtis


Becky Quiroga Curtis is in charge of all things Kids & YA at Books & Books in Miami, FL including buying & author events.

Emil Ostrovski


Emil Ostrovski graduated from Vassar College in 2012 with a degree in philosophy. His hilarious and heartbreaking novel The Paradox of Vertical Flight, forthcoming in September 2013, is about a semi-suicidal philosophy student who's absconded with his infant son Socrates on an epic road trip.

Louise Brueggemann


Louise Brueggemann reviews young adult and children's books for Kirkus Reviews, teaches at Dominican University's Graduate School of Library Science and is the Children's Services Supervisor at Naperville Public Library in Naperville, Illinois. She was on the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award committee and has served on Best Books for Young Adults and Best Fiction for Young Adults. She has worked in publishing and spent many years as children's book buyer at the Tattered Cover in Denver, Colorado.